Premier League secures decisive Irish court piracy ruling

An Irish court has issued the nation’s first-ever order of its kind against the nation’s five main internet service providers to block illegal live-streaming of English Premier League matches.

Eircom/Eir, Sky Ireland, Sky Subscriber Services, Virgin Media Ireland and Vodafone Ireland must now target customers watching matches via illegal avenues in Ireland in real time and disable the streams, according to the Irish Times.

The order was handed down in the Irish Commercial Court on Monday and covers illegal streams being watched on a range of devices, including computers and set-top boxes.

The EPL’s barrister, Jonathan Newman SC, said in the hearing that blocks would end when the matches do and will be reset each week in an effort to respond to the evolving nature of digital piracy.

Newman gave assurances to the court that it would be possible to block across multiple platforms “in one blow” and that a response to a newly-opened stream could be achieved “within minutes”.

The judge hearing the case, Mr Justice Robert Haughton, referenced the EPL’s successes in the league’s domestic market as justification for allowing the new measures in Ireland.

The Irish ruling is the latest in a string of legal battles the EPL has been fighting in recent years and follows the successful sentencing of three men for piracy in March.

Other prominent wins have included a victory against Dutch streaming service Ecatel in January 2018 and securing a £600,000 (€681,000/$812,000) decision against an English streaming service four months later.